News that Rahul Gandhi registered as a “non-Hindu” visitor at the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat on Wednesday was chalked up by the Congress to a BJP conspiracy ahead of polls in the state. The apparent “slip” ignited a storm on Twitter with ‘Somnath Temple’ emerging as one of the top trends of the day. An array of Congress leaders put out emphatic denials and accused the ruling BJP of circulating a “fake entry” to discredit their boss-designate.
In the initial reaction to the controversy, the Congress party while giving a clarification on the issue said that the person who fills register was unaware of rules, hence wrote Rahul’s name on the register. Congress also alleged that it is being done to malign Rahul Gandhi’s image. According to reports, the Somnath Temple trust has confirmed the fact that Rahul Gandhi signed non-Hindus visitors register in the temple. The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, both the mainstream political party are trying their level best to lure voters for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, scheduled to take in two phases in December.
“We have no qualms in saying that Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu. Not only is Rahul Gandhiji a Hindu, he is a ‘janeu dhari’ (Brahmin) Hindu. BJP should not bring down the political discourse to this level,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala lashed out.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at Indira Gandhi while attacking the Congress party during his public address in Morbi. PM Modi had said, “When Indira Ben came to Morbi, I remember there was a photo of her in Chitralekha Magazine with a hanky over her nose due to the foul smells, but for Jansangh and RSS the streets of Morbi are fragrant, its the fragrance of humanity.”